As a Panthers fan I am pleased the team is taking steps to add depth to the thin wide receiver corps, especially adding a young player with upside. If quarterback Cam Newton can click with young wide outs like Brandon LaFell, David Gettis, and now Louis Murphy, Carolina could have a dominant passing game for years to come.
So just who, exactly, is Louis Murphy?
Here are four fast facts for Panthers fans as we get to know our new wide-out and Carolina prepares to take on the Atlanta Falcons, New Orleans Saints, and Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the NFC South.
Fact #1 - He's a Florida Speed Demon
Louis Murphy was a good - but not great - wide receiver at the University of Florida. After catching just two passes in his 2006 sophomore season, Murphy jumped to 37 receptions for 548 yards and five touchdowns in 2007. In his final year in 2008, Louis Murphy went for 38-655-7.
While his stats were average at Florida, his potential was off the charts. Murphy's blazing 4.32 40-yard dash warranted a 4th round pick from Al Davis (always a sucker for speed) in the 2009 draft.
Fact #2 - He Was Solid as a Rookie (2009)
Murphy's impact in Oakland was felt immediately after going for 4-87-1 in his first NFL game in a loss to the San Diego Chargers.
The best game of Louis Murphy's rookie season was in Week 13 against the Pittsburgh Steelers as he went for 4-128-2 in a surprising 27-24 Raiders' victory. Murphy flashed his speed with a 75-yard fourth quarter touchdown then delivered the game-winning 11-yard score with just :09 remaining.
Louis Murphy finished his rookie campaign with 34 receptions for 521 yards and four touchdowns. He appeared in all 16 games in his first NFL season, recording at least one reception in all but one game that year.
Fact #3 - He Was Even Better in Year Two (2010)
In 2010 Murphy recorded at least one reception in all 16 games and finished the season with 41 receptions for 609 yards and two touchdowns.
He started his second season hot. In his first three games he brought in 15 receptions for 238 yards (79.3 yds/gm) and one score.
After two seasons and 1,130 total receiving yards, the future looked bright for the young, speedy wide receiver. Murphy's first two NFL seasons were particularly impressive considering his quarterbacks had been JaMarcus Russell, Bruce Gradkowski, and Jason Campbell.
Fact #4 - The Wheels (Er, Groin) Fell Off in 2011
Last year Louis Murphy injured his groin and struggled most of the year. He started only one game in Oakland in 2011 and had the worst season of the professional career, recording just 15 receptions, 241 yards, and no touchdowns in 11 games.
By the end of the season he had slid down the Raiders' depth chart, making him expendable enough for the Raiders to be willing to deal him for an undisclosed draft pick.
In the end, this is a good move for the Panthers. Draft picks are always a roll of the dice, but the Panthers know what they are getting with Louis Murphy.
When healthy, Murphy should bring speed and depth to a receiving corps that needed to be strengthened.
Andrew Sweat is a die-hard Panthers fan. For more from this author, visit Andrew's archive or check these out articles: